Send email alerts to anyone on any condition with VizAlerts

Want to send email alerts from Tableau Server to anyone you’d like, on any condition you’d like? But how, you ask? The answer is simple—and free!—thanks to the help of Tableau’s brilliant community.

VizAlerts is a free-to-use-as-is, open-source tool that works a lot like subscriptions do. Subscribe to your viz on a schedule, and if there’s any data in your view when it runs, you get an email. If there isn’t, you don’t.

Conditional subscriptions, rule-based alerts, push notifications, report bursting—VizAlerts can do it all on Tableau Server. You can create conditions in your alerts simply by filtering out what you don’t want to know about.

We've used this tool internally to build more than sixty alerts that automatically inform us when systems behave unexpectedly—extract refreshes failing, data not meeting quality standards, and countless other use cases. It’s been extremely useful.

We’ve just released VizAlerts 1.1.0, and we have the Tableau community to thank. Let me explain.

When we first released VizAlerts a few months ago, it couldn’t yet do everything we wanted. Sure, you could customize the recipients and the subject of the emails it sent, and you could add whatever HTML text you wanted to the email body. But beyond that, it could only contain a single image of a viz, and it was a little awkward to get these images in there.

Enter Tableau Zen Master Jonathan Drummey.

Jonathan reached out to me with a question. He wanted to use VizAlerts on a project he was working on with PATH: eliminating malaria in Zambia. He wanted to know: Could he contribute some code for the new features he would need?

We talked about what VizAlerts needed and how to best implement it. We went back and forth a few times based on code reviews. As a direct result of Jonathan’s help, we released a new version of VizAlerts that’s certain to make all your alerting dreams come true!

VizAlerts 1.1.0 can:

  • Embed or attach images, CSVs, and PDFs from any other Tableau Server viz
  • Filter any of that viz content using URL parameter filters
  • Merge separate viz images into a single multi-page PDF

...and so much more!

The net result is that VizAlerts can now email any Tableau dashboard you’d like to anyone you’d like, on any condition you’d like. It was great before, but now it’s downright amazing—in my own humble opinion, of course.

Naturally, you’re already wondering: How can I start using this on my own Tableau Server? Simply grab the latest release from our GitHub page and follow the instructions in the install_guide.docx file. It will take you through everything you need to set up VizAlerts for the first time. If you’re upgrading from VizAlerts 1.0.8, please see the instructions for doing so here. And finally, if you need any help, have questions, or want to provide feedback, please let us know on our public group on the Community Forum.

It’s been amazing to see the Tableau community collaborating together on this project. Without your support, this entire project never would have happened.

I would like to thank two members of it in particular. Jonathan Drummey, thank you for working so diligently and brilliantly to take VizAlerts to new functional heights. Toby Erkson, thank you for your Herculean efforts in thoroughly testing our major releases—you don’t let me get away with anything! It is a privilege to work with both of you.

If you haven’t already tried out this tool, I’d encourage you to do so. If you have, let us know what you think over at the VizAlerts page over on the Community. We’d love your feedback.

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